How to survive midterms: StAR’s week six playlist, and maybe a little divine intervention.
EMINEM — “Till I Collapse” — as described by sophia laurenzi
This was my running song, then it was my stay-awake-while-driving-late-at-night song, then it was what I imagined Alexander Hamilton listening to while he was writing The Federalist Papers (thanks, LMM’s Hamilton inspiration playlist), and now it’s my thesis song. Thank you Eminem, for a song that has powered me through situation after situation that you (probably) weren’t intending it to.
LIL WAYNE — “I’m Me” — as described by ned hardy
Classic, classic, classic. This one occupies the top spot in my “Life-Affirming Music” playlist. Today we say, “If you ain’t got haters, then you ain’t poppin,” but in 2007, Wayne had us yelling, “Baby, I’m me, so who you? You’re not me! You’re not me!” Humility is overrated.
ALEX G — “Harvey” — as described by jazzmin williams
Alex Giannascoli chanting “Success for my buddy / Success for my friend / Success is the only thing I understand” feels like the good omen and power mantra you need to get through week 6. The song’s major elements are simple acoustic guitar, piano, and vocal harmonies. Each element demands your attention, which gives the song a slightly shambolic feel that contributes to the song’s lyrical theme of reconciling the responsibilities of adulthood with your childhood self. Although that sounds like a frustrating affair, the last stanza and piano outro convey, rather optimistically, that it is possible to achieve success and remain true to yourself.
MILO feat. OPEN MIKE EAGLE — “Objectifying Rabbits” — as described by ena alvarado
Sometime this past summer, a new and wonderful friend suggested I check out Milo and his album So The Flies Don’t Come. He described his music as “goofy to depressing spoken word rap” and also mentioned that it might be a sort of acquired taste. I later read somewhere that Milo is often pegged as pretentious. Maybe the reason I still refuse to buy into such assessments has something to do with lyrics like “abstain from judging the people who don’t abstain from getting shit-faced.” Only humble and genuine thinkers ever come up with such thoughts.
R. KELLY feat. USHER — “Same Girl” — as described by phill gilliver
Whenever I’m doing work, no matter how down I may be feeling, I know that I will never feel the unfathomable dread that R. Kelly feels when he learns that he and Usher are “messin’ with the same girl.” Their harmonized, silky voices carry me over the mountains of work I have and drop me in the valley of smooth stylings. I’m going to be submitting this song every week.
KATE BUSH — “Wuthering Heights” — as described by katie lan
wuthering heights is one of those songs where the more you listen to it the more you vibe with it, and the more you vibe with it, the more empowered you feel. i swear to god kate bush changes keys like 4 times during this song, yet she still makes it work. the part in the chorus where she’s serenading heathcliff will hit you like a seismic emotional wave and make you want to feel as inspired as she does.
SHAKIRA feat. MALUMA — “Chantaje” — as described by alejandra salazar
Does it count if the song came out four days ago? Wait, never mind, it’s Shakira, so of course it does. The latest step in the Colombian superstar’s journey to take over every popular music genre ever is an experiment in what is best described as “minimalist reggaetón”, or “that banger you listened to all Halloweekend, then accidentally left playing on loop as you forced yourself to grind out four pages on education policy, then kept blasting when you inevitably returned to the party to forget all about school at the bottom of bottle of two-buck chuck”. I owe my week six to this song.
BON IVER — “33 God” — as described by anthony milki
This song gives me a boost in a similar way as Yeezus does, but Vernon leaves some softness in 22, a million to keep just enough accessible beauty in to push you through something you can’t see yourself finishing while feeling nice and warm inside.
BEYONCÉ — “I Was Here” — as described by nikki tran
I don’t care if this song is the second most corny track on 4 and that it is absurd for Beyoncé, of all people, to find it necessary to prostrate, “I just want them to know / I gave my all, did my best.” There is something musical threater-esque about it; it’s the kind of ballad that the character bursts into during the final act when the damsel finds her own strength or when the witch realizes she’s not always evil. It’s a little too sentimental, a little too epic-hero-returns-home-to-small-town, and, yet, I’m so here for that.
PRINCE RAMA — “Your Life In The End” — as described by katie nesser
Last year, Prince Rama released Xtreme Now, a concept album centered around energy drinks and extreme sports. This video shows the sisters and band members Taraka and Nimai Larson skydiving. If they can’t motivate you to get those last 10 pages of reading done, it might be time to give up.